Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December Musings and Art Homework

Hhmm, December is almost over and I see that I did not post anything this month.  I realize that is a bit unusual for me considering that since I started blogging in January 2011 I have made 15-20 posts per month for most of that time.

In 2014-2015 I gradually let go of all my design team commitments and focused on my work, family, and learning more about drawing and art in general.  I also teamed up with a wonderful group of Certified Zentangle Teachers (CZTs) on Vancouver Island and we put on a fabulaous weekend retreat for Zentangle enthusiasts. For those who are interested, we will be announcing the Tangle Island retreat plans for 2016 on January 17th.

If you have read my other posts about the online classes that I am taking then you already know about Jane Davenport and Joanne Sharpe.  You might be interest in Joanne's Artfully Inspired Life 2016 classes that will begin January 1st.

Here is my latest homework from Joanne's Whimiscal Lettering class:

Each one is made with a different font emphasizing something that I am grateful for.  Each of the fonts and techniques is taken from Joanne's book, The Art of Whimsical Lettering. I added my own doodles and drawings.

I listed the family members on the letters that came to mind when I made the family tag.

My sons names are printed on the slop of the letters.
 There is much more I am grateful for that isn't reflected in my font practice.  For this exercise I used pre-purchased tags, twinkling H2Os, gel pens, Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Sharpie pens, and Peerless watercolors.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter Scrapbook - Half Page Mini

I have been working on a winter scrapbook album to put all of our snow related pictures. I can honestly say that I was an adult (about 20) before I actually saw snow falling from the sky.  I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where the temperatures are mild most of the year.  When my family went to play in the snow (about 4 hours away), the snow was already on the ground.  So, as you can imagine, snow is a big deal to me!

I have already started to put our snow pictures in this album and I plan to bring it out to the coffee table at this time of the year so that we can look at and remember all our snow adventures.  There is still space for more pictures and I can't wait to capture our next snowy trip.

This is Paper Phenomenon's June bonus project the Half-Page Mini.  It is 8 1/2 by 10 inches with large pull-out pages for lots of pictures.

The paper collection is from BoBunny - Sleigh Ride.

What you cannot see in these pictures is that the half-page is a pocket and a large folded insert nestles in the pocket.  Here are a couple of those inserts open.

Check out this great tutorial from Kathy Orta on her site Paper Phenomenon.

Have a scrappy day!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Teaching is a Privilege!

Teaching really is a privilege!

When I teach I also learn.  I probably learn more than the students do in class. Why? Because I have to teach myself (or learn from others) whatever process or technique I am going to share.  I need to have experienced it for myself and know how it feels, looks, tastes (maybe not), smells, and sounds. When I can do all that I think that I might have enough knowledge to actual impart the technique to others. Even with all that preparation I often am still learning as I share the technique with others.  My students teach me too! This wonderful process of learning, sharing and learning more is what I love, love, love about teaching.

This fall I have been focusing on shading Zentangle because I want to improve my skill AND because I was scheduled to teach a 4-week class at North Island College to a group of eager and attentive seniors. I have already shared with this audience some of my samples, but today I would like to share those of the students.

First we learned to draw freehand a pumpkin string and then fill it with tangles.  Next we shaded the tangles and the pumpkin roundness.

Another lesson was about light source and we focused on adding great shadows.

Another lesson included adding dimension by the shape and direction of our line before adding shading.

and finally, we explored shading with coloured pencil using three shades of the same colour.

I had a wonderful time and while I was learning more about shading I was also learning more about teaching.  
Any comments you make about this post will be shared with my students.  Thanks for stopping by and as always have a great day!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Lettering

Two years ago I Google'd "drawing programs" and headed into the direction of Zentangle drawing. "Why," you ask? My answer is, for three very important reasons:

  1. I never doodled as a child - never!  I know this doesn't seem possible, but I didn't adulterate the sides of my papers in school.  I have wondered if it was discouraged or if I got into trouble for having done it.  I don't really remember, but anything that did not lead to concrete eduction was discouraged.  Things like art and music were set aside in favour of math and science.  I think my mother was trying to create something, and she did, but it wasn't someone who would follow the artistic path.
  2. I wanted to learn to draw characters.  I was (and still am) heavily involved in creating cards with lovely digital and rubber stamped images of people and creatures.  I love to place them in interesting settings and colour with Copics or Tombows.  I thought that it would be great if I could create and sell my own unique characters as digital images. If I could only draw!
  3. Zentangle looked cool!
Fortunately for me, Barb Round from Campbell River was teaching a beginners class in my town within 2 weeks.  I was delighted!  Finally I would learn to draw!  I took her beginner series of three classes and then took two more she offered over several weeks.  I embraced Zentangle wholeheartedly making dozens of tiles and finally deciding that I wanted to be able to teach this method to others. In November 2013 I flew off to Road Island for Certified Zentangle Teacher training and became an official CZT.

I love Zentangle!  It has opened my mind to other creative techniques such as using colour in Zentangle and even creating what we call ZIA - Zentangle Inspired Art. My hand - eye coordination has improved as well as my handwriting.  I finally feel free to be creative and draw - freely draw with no constraints.  I feel that Zentangle has opened my creative mind to be more artistically expressive.

There is just one problem!  I would still like to learn to draw things such as trees, animals, landscapes and people. This is a long background story to tell you that I was back to the Internet and found a couple of online courses for drawing and lettering that I would like to share with you.  Actually, this little journey started after viewing one of my favourite YouTube friends, Sara from My Serenity Crafts (check her out!).

First, Jane Davenport from Australia has a wonderful set of classes - very low key and fun, on supplies and drawing, including drawing faces.  I absolutely love her style and happy, colourful presentation.  I started with her supplies class because I don't very much about all the different types of paint, markers and watercolours.  She goes into depth and makes us students try them out to see what they do - very experiential.  Here are a couple of pics from the early sessions ......

We are cataloguing all the art supplies that we have on hand.

Gelly Roll Pens on Black Gesso and cardstock
Then she has us drawing our happy place. I am looking forward to comparing this drawing to a future version. My happy place is in the tall grass around the tall trees in my grandfather's apple orchard when I was 4-6 years old.

The second class that I am taking is actually a book and book club on Facebook.  Joanne Sharpe's book The Art of Whimsical Lettering is amazing and helpful!  We are currently working on sampling alphabet styles.

And we have tested some of them ...

I have a long way to go and I am very much enjoying the journey.  Please check out the links above and see if these classes are of interest to your creative journey. I will be sharing more as the weeks progress.

Have a great day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Zentangle on My Mind

I've had Zentangle on my mind and in my art bag this last month.  I took my Micron pens and Zentangle tiles with me on vacation to California in October and had a great time tangling and drawing whatever my pen wanted to draw.  I have also been posting on my Facebook page without making a blog post (sorry!).


This post is a little catchup on what I have been drawing and doing since the Tangle Island Retreat in September.

This was an exercise in Inapod tangle and shading. I have found the greatest Fb page - https://www.facebook.com/groups/shadingzentangle/.  It is all about shading and Eni Oaken provides excellent feedback and encouragement for everything that we post.

Here is another sample showing the before and after shading. The tangle is Hamadox, a combination of Rick's Paradox and Hamail.

Here is one I just finished and posted last night with Verve, Abundies, Flux, Diva Dance and Printemps.

I have also been working with a little bit of color and working on stretching my drawing a bit.  I received a little Prima journal in a mystery box and have dedicated it to the Crazy Birds and what I might do with them.  In this case, I drew a tree around them and added the Tangle Poke Root for the leaves.  It is all colored with my new Irojiten colored pencils.

Lastly, I will show you a drawing I did to emphasize color shading in a class I am teaching at North Island College this month.  The tangle is simple (can't even remember the name), but I have used it to show using three pencil shades of one color - light, medium and dark, to work out the shading.

Well, I think that is enough catchup for today.  Hopefully, my next post will be about a scrapbook that I have been working on for Christmas/Winter snow family pictures.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Tangle Island was a success!

Hi all,  I bet you are wondering where I have been again.  My last post told you about how I was planning for the Zentangle conference in Parksville and was it ever a resounding success.  We had participants from all over who really enjoyed our classes and most of all the goodies and door prizes we handed out.

Big group photo on the last day.

The classes where a hit for sure.  On our private facebook page we are seeing lots of finished projects (very difficult to finish everything during class time) that are so beautiful it takes my breath away.  There are so many talented people out there who have found an outlet for their creative side through Zentangle.

This is one of my pieces that I created after the retreat was over with techniques from Barb Round's class.....

Many of the students have been asking if the Tangle Island Team will do another retreat next year and it is a resounding YES!  Some of us may take on lesser roles but we all enjoyed teaching and sharing our individual specialities.

Stay tuned for information about next years' Tangle Island Retreat.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Good Monday Morning!

If you are a follower of mine you are probably wondering what has happened to my regular posting. The answer is, I have been very busy planning and preparing for the Tangle Island Retreat at the Parksville Beach Club Resort scheduled for September 18, 19 and 20.

Yes, this is a Zentangle retreat where 6 island Certified Zentangle Teachers will be leading classes in fabulous techniques and Zentangle fun. We will be learning new tangles, shading strokes, mixed media, watercolor, card making ideas and much more. I think there might be one or two spots left, so if you are interested please visit tangleisland.blogspot.com and register today.

Here are a few pics of our planning and preparation, and my practice drawing:

This is the Tangle Island Team: Nancy, Barb, Linda, Donna, Jerryann and Marie.
A little practice with the document camera

Here is a picture of the beach side of the Beach Club Resort.....

Can you guess what I might be doing with this?

Here is another drawing I did for practice

And here is one more....

We are going to have such fun visiting and learning from each other.  We have a wonderful group of folks registered for the first every Tangle Island Retreat.  Interested Tanglers are coming from the local area, Vancouver area, Calgary, Ontario, Washington, California, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee. Amazing!

After the retreat my hubby and I are skipping town and visiting family in California for two weeks culminating with celebrating the 120th anniversary of Yosemite becoming a national park. We actually have a camping reservation on the valley floor!  Yosemite is one of my favorite places to visit and we have many happy memories hiking and backpacking around the area.

Well, I should be posting pictures of the retreat on the weekend and then stay tuned for my trip pics!

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Having Fun making a Steampunk Album!

Hi all!  I have been having fun creating a mini album with a Steampunk theme.  This style has definitely caught me up into the Steampunk craze of 1890's mechanical.  Gears and a little rust go a long way!

I used the Classic Handbag tutorial from Paper Phenomenon without the handbag closure of course.  I also added 1 inch to the width of the base pages so that I could get more 4x6 photos into the album.

Here is the cover with all its wonderful cogs and gears.

I used a lot of goodies on the cover alone....

  • Creative clocks and corners from Butterbee Scraps   
  • Gear Assembly die cut from Memory Box
  • Cuttlebug embossing folder on the tag
  • Metal key and brads from Michael's
  • Paper line is Kaiser Kraft Betsie's Couture
  • Everything is inked with Distress Brushed Corduroy
  • I inked the gears with Inca Gold Turquoise and Copper
  • The pin is from Prima
The clock at the top rotates!

Inside cover pocket with goodies!

This is the first page with all its flaps and pockets.......

I used Sizzix Trellis die on the pocket after rubbing with Inka Gold Turquoise and Copper.  The tag is embossed with a Darcie embossing folder. The tag in the top pocket is cut with the Steampunk "on the edge" dies from Tim Holtz (also added Glossy Accents) and finally the large tag in the pocket is cut with the EK Success scroll edge punch.

First side of first page.
Open the page flap to reveal more pockets
Back of first page. Large pocket contains a folder from Marion Smith.
Paper clips are from Prima.

Page mats are embossed with cuttlebug folder and then rubbed with Inka Gold.
Here is page two ....

This page has a flap that folds down and one that opens the page.

More embossing and dies cuts
Inside the page

Back of page and start of #3 with its waterfall.
More of Page 3 - this is where I introduce the Kaiser Kraft Antique Bazaar collection.

And now we are repeating page styles .....

The left page is collaged with several pieces from the ephemera packs.

There is a Butterbee Scraps filigree on the top waterfall flap.

This is a great tutorial and very easy to follow.  You can get it here at Paper Phenomenon.

I used three paper collections: Marion Smith Nirvana, Kaiser Kraft Betsy's Couture and Antique Bazaar, as well as a few pages from Recollections Espresso.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my new album creation.

Have a Happy Scrappy Day!